Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged the people to regularly practice Yoga and meditation and return to India's traditional food habits to beat the stress caused by modern lifestyle and prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Virtually launching the Society of Coronary Surgeons in Hyderabad on December 20, he pointed out that the scientific community has concluded that inappropriate lifestyle was the major cause for the rise in the cardiovascular diseases (CVD) incidence.
"Yoga relieves one of stress and keeps diseases at bay. Hence, Yoga must become part of everyone’s daily routine," he added.
Quoting World Health Organisation (WHO), Venkaiah Naidu said NCDs encompass a vast group of illnesses such as cardiovascular, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes and contribute to around 41 million (71%) of all the deaths globally and about 5.87 million (60%) of all deaths in India.
Observing that the rise of NCDs was mainly due to lifestyle changes such as sedentary jobs, unhealthy and irregular dietary habits, high stress, smoking and tobacco chewing, he said that almost three-quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Pointing out that the epidemic of NCDs poses devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities, the Vice President, he appreciated the initiative to form the Society of Coronary Surgeons with a mission to prevent CVDs and the immense the loss caused by them in terms of affecting productive people.
He also urged the members of SCS to focus on the disease burden in the rural areas. He said that a majority of the people live in rural areas and are equally exposed to the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
Expressing his concern over the lack of modern and advanced healthcare facilities in most of the rural areas, Venkaiah Naidu urged the private sector to join hands with the government in bringing the latest healthcare diagnostic and treatment facilities to the rural areas at an affordable cost through public-private partnerships.
Referring to the doctor-patient ratio in India, which was lower than the WHO norm of one doctor for 1,000 people, Venkaiah Naidu said it has to be addressed urgently.
"The private sector must complement the efforts of the government in providing affordable medical education," he said.
With the majority of the people meeting the medical costs through out-of-pocket expenses, the Vice President said that there was a huge need to step up insurance coverage.
He lauded Ayushman Bharat, the flagship programme of the government of India, as a truly praiseworthy initiative that seeks to provide health cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 crores poor and vulnerable families.
In this regard, VP appealed to the medical fraternity to ensure that affordable healthcare is available to all and treatment costs are brought down. He also emphasised that ethics should be followed by everyone including those in the medical profession.
Stating that India had made huge progress in the medical field in the past few decades, he said, the country has emerged as a medical tourism destination in recent years.
In the past, patients from India used to go abroad for treatment.
“But patients from different countries, including developed ones, are coming to India for affordable and quality healthcare”, he observed.
He said that India also has emerged as a world-class player in the delivery of heart care with the second largest number of CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) surgeries being done in this country.
“Our capabilities in healthcare were also clearly established during this COVID-19 pandemic and the number of casualties was much lower when compared to some of the advanced countries in the world”, he stressed.
Commending the selfless and remarkable service being rendered by the medical, paramedical and other healthcare personnel ever since the pandemic broke out, he expressed happiness that an indigenous vaccine would be launched soon.
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